Looking back and forth

It’s the time of year to look at what was and contemplate on what will be. In Gartner the latter process has been formalized through the series of predict documents we publish towards the end of the year. Since a few years we precede these individual documents with a top predictions note that this year was titled “Plan for a Disruptive, but Constructive future” (press release). An important theme of this year’s predict was the rise of digital business, but also some of the darker sides of this. My section spoke about how – in the 2020 timeframe – the labor reduction effect of digitalization may cause social unrest and a quest for new economic models in several mature economies. Early signals of such movements may be larger-scale versions of Occupy Wall Street-type movements and increasing replacement of traditional paid jobs with bartering-based systems and increased reliance on volunteers in areas such as patient care.

More short-term predicts discussed how PaaS plays an increasingly more important role in SaaS offerings – with a substantial chunk of the PaaS subscription provided by SaaS providers and how SaaS providers increasingly offer services traditionally in the realm of BPaaS providers (and vice versa). But also how (again on the darker side) several Western societies will experience major cloud outages during 2014, that cause disruption in increasingly critical processes , so well beyond movie streaming and social media services.

Other topics covered during 2013 were the growth of the cloud services market, and especially the development of the Cloud Services Brokerage opportunity . Also we expanded the cloud services portfolio heatmap model for CSPs in our tech go-to-market research. July at Gartner is not the time for catching waves at the beach but Hype Cycle Time. Personally I contributed to 5 this year, including the brand new one on Multienterprise Solutions (remember that term as it may be one of the most significant terrains for cloud impact).

Also in August we looked at expected developments driving cloud adoption and hybrid ways to organize for that (see press release ) and we analyzed trends in questions, queries and enquiries that Garter receives regarding cloud computing. We also looked at cloud provider do’s and don’ts (like where to locate and how not to ignore customer processes).

We started the year with the traditional cool vendor reports for Cloud Management , Cloud Services Brokerage (CSB), CSB enablement, and for the first time a special around cool vendors in the European cloud market . And off course the so called “big rocks”, the Magic Quadrants such as the global one on Cloud Infrastructure as a Service and the regional MQs for managed hosting, North America and Europe. Something for which the preparations are again in full swing (see this blog by my colleague Douglas Toombs).

Not bad for a year’s work and that in a market that has only has just begun to live up to its expectations. Also several interviews and bylined articles hit the business press – such as “Cloudspotting is the shape of things to come” that ran as a special insert to the Times and this one about the impact of cloud on the IT profession/professional – and to top things off I started during 2013 as regular columnist with a series of music themed monthly columns (for now in Dutch but …).

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